Missouri and their high powered offense are ready to face the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. Mizzou is ranked number nine in the country in points for, averaging 45.5 points per game. But the Tigers will be tested by a tough Vandy defense. This game will be close all the way to the end, and a late turnover or score could be the difference. Check out the Vandy Scouting Report and the Game Information posts that were up earlier this morning for more information on the game. Here are four things to watch before you settle in at home to watch the Tigers play in their first SEC game this season.
Two James Franklins
James Franklin is Missouri’s QB, and is off to a great start this year. He has thrown for nine touchdowns already and is a big part of Mizzou’s success so far this season. But there will be another James Franklin on the field on Saturday. James Franklin is the head coach at Vanderbilt, a good young head coach for the Commodores.
EJ Gaines vs. Jordan Matthews
Missouri’s best CB will be facing one of the best WRs in the SEC in Jordan Matthews. Matthews is quick and has a knack for making big plays. He has 586 yards and four TDs so far this season, and EJ Gaines needs to be able to shut him down tonight. This matchup will be fun to watch.
Missouri Receivers vs. Vandy Secondary
This will be the toughest defense Mizzou has had to face this season, so the Tiger receivers winning one on one matchups and making the game easy for QB James Franklin is a very important step in getting a win. DGB especially has to play big tonight; he is Mizzou’s best weapon at receiver and needs to keep up his production from the first four games. Look for Dorial Green-Beckham, L’Damain Washington and others to be put in situations to make a play, and watch to see who wins those battles.
Missouri’s Running Backs
Mizzou has three very good running backs that have joined together to average over 250 yards on the ground per game. This depth is good for the long and grueling SEC season, but I’m watching on Saturday to see who can step up and make some explosive plays from the backfield. Hansbrough, Josey, and Murphy all have more than three TDs this season, and hopefully all will add another against Vandy.